kid with braces drawing

Fun Holiday Treats For Kids With Braces

When the holiday season comes around, there's no need for kids with braces to miss out on the traditional treats. Some candies can damage braces, but there are plenty of safe and tasty snacks to satisfy young taste buds without interfering with orthodontia. In fact, when preparing fun holiday treats with your child, you can include numerous healthy options that build strong teeth at the same time.

Treats to Avoid

When supermarket shelves are full of brightly packaged treats for the holidays, it's hard not to fill your cart. But for the sake of your child's braces, you still need to scoot past the hard, chewy and sticky foods. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that children with braces should avoid caramel, licorice, lollipops, bubblegum, popcorn, taffy, jelly beans and hard pretzels. How come? Biting hard foods, according to Dr. Tanya Vaysman at Upper East Side Orthodontists, can bend or even break your child's metal brackets.

Recipe for Safety

Strawberry Santas

Slice the bottom off the large end of a strawberry so that it stands upright, and cut off the top quarter. Squirt some whipped cream onto the strawberry's top flat surface, and add two chocolate sprinkles to make the eyes of Santa's face. Place the top quarter of the strawberry back onto the whipped cream to form Santa's hat, and dab some cream on the very top of the strawberry to give his hat its white bobble.

Marshmallow Snowmen

Melt some white chocolate candy coating in the microwave, and push a stiff straw or wooden skewer through three marshmallows for the three parts of the snowman's body. Dip the marshmallows in the candy coating, and before it sets, press chocolate chips into the top marshmallow to make the snowman's eyes. Add a tiny piece of carrot for his nose – but not too big that one crunch can damage a braces bracket.

Reindeer Cheese

Cut strips of yellow bell pepper to the shape of antlers with a sharp knife, and push them into the wide end of a soft cheese triangle. Use two pieces of olive to make the reindeer's eyes, and half a cherry tomato to make Rudolph's nose.

Christmas Tree Brownie Lollipops

Not every lollipop needs to be hard or sticky. Cut brownies into triangles, and decorate them with lines of frosting for tinsel and sprinkles for baubles. Push a brightly colored, stiff straw into one edge of the triangle, as far as it will go without poking out the other side. Snip off the end of the straw to form your lollipop stick.

Sometimes it's hard for kids to understand why they have to endure the fuss and bother of wearing braces, and it can be especially difficult during the holiday season when they can't eat the same treats their friends enjoy. By offering your child enticing alternatives, he or she can have just as much fun as everyone else while benefiting from the long-term bonus of beautifully straight, pearly white teeth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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